by Jeffrey Downey, Esq.
If you have been injured in a car accident, the Virginia assembly just passed a law that allows one to stack Uninsured motorist coverage on top of liability coverage from the at fault driver, explains McLean personal injury attorney Jeffrey J. Downey.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) is insurance coverage that a person buys to protect against an accident where the at fault driver has no insurance or inadequate insurance coverage. Everyone should make sure that they have significant UIM insurance limits, at least over $300,000, explains Downey.
Under the prior law automobile insurance policies issued in Virginia determined the amount of available UIM coverage by first subtracting out the available insurance from the at fault driver. So, if the at fault driver had $50,000 in insurance and you had $100,000 UIM, there would only be a total of $50,000 available UIM coverage (for a total of 100k that could be used to settle your case). A recent amendment to Virginia Code Ann § 38.2206 (C) now requires insurance companies to provide UIM coverage that pays any damages due to an insured in addition to any bodily injury or property damage liability that is applicable to the insured’s damages.
Given this change in the law, an injured person can now combine or stack the available liability limits from the at fault driver to the injured person’s own UIM limits. In the above example, that would mean the injured party would have $150,000 in coverage for an accident, instead of $100,000.
Of course, creative insurance companies may draft their insurance policies to prevent stacking, but a strong argument could be made that such changes would be unenforceable because they conflict with Virginia law. As of yet there are no reported cases on this issue in Virginia, explains Downey.
If you have been injured in an accident it’s important to retain representation quickly to protect your rights, research applicable insurance coverages, and preserve important evidence.
Call the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey for a free consultation today. Mr. Downey has over 30 years of trial experience and started his career defending insurance companies in personal injury cases. Now he uses that experience to benefit his clients.
Handling personal injury cases in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland.
The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey
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